The Pleasant Run Panther Bots team won the contest but denied gratitude. Some parents claim the competition organizers awarded the team for being Latino.

The Pleasant Run Panther Bots team
The Pleasant Run Panther Bots team. Photo: Pinterest

( — March 21, 2017) — INDIANAPOLIS – Science team of fourth graders from Pleasant Run Elementary school won the robotics competition at Plainfield High School. Instead of cheering, they were told to go back to Mexico.

The winning team was exiting the building when a group of children along with their parents was awaiting them on the parking lot to greet them with racial insults.

The Pleasant Run Panther Bots team of children who are 9 to 10 years old, two of which are African American and three are Latino, was told they are champions because they are Mexicans, Indy Star, the branch of USA Today reports.

Diocelina Herrera, the mother of Panther Bot Angel Herrera-Sanchez, told Indian Star’s reporter, Suzette Hackney, that they were racially abused by other students and their parents. “They were pointing at us and saying that “Oh my God, they are champions of the city all because they are Mexican. They are Mexican and they are ruining our country,” Herrera heard a woman say.

“For the most part, the robotics world is kind of a white world,” Hackney quoted the wining team’s coach and teacher from Pleasant Run Elementary, Lisa Hopper. “They’re just not used to seeing a team like our kids,” Hopper said, adding that white students and their parents don’t believe less privileged children from poor schools can be as talented and technologically savvy.

“Then we’re in first place the whole day and they can’t take it,” Hooper told Hackney.

Plainfield officials distanced themselves from the racially biased parents, condemning their hurtful comments. According the district spokesperson, the organizers were unaware about the incident until Star’s reporter contacted the Superintendent of Plainfield Community Schools, asking for a comment.

Sabrina Kapp, director of communications for Plainfield Community School Corporation, promised Hackney that she will send a letter to every competition participant, expressing zero tolerance towards racial comments.

“We don’t condone that behavior; we don’t tolerate it in our schools,” Sabrina Kapp, said, adding the school is teaching students about community values.

Racial prejudice and hate, especially towards Latinos, has increased after the U.S. President Donald Trump accused immigrants for “ruining America.”

Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, who attended this year’s traditional White House Shamrock Ceremony, while addressing the media, reminded Trump that immigrants have built the United States.

In attempt to honor his guest, President Trump quoted his favorite Irish saying, as he told the reporters. 

“Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you,” Trump said before adding: “We know that, politically speaking. A lot of us know.”

While the quote puzzled the Irish guests, the social media reacted by explaining that Trump was in fact quoting a verse from a Nigerian poet, Albashir Adam Alhassan.